In all proceedings for divorce, the summons shall be returnable to the court of the county in which either the plaintiff or defendant resides.
[In] any action brought under Chapter 50 for alimony or divorce filed in a county where the plaintiff resides but the defendant does not reside, where both parties are residents of the State of North Carolina, and where the plaintiff removes from the State and ceases to be a resident, the action may be removed upon motion of the defendant, for trial or for any motion in the cause, either before or after judgment, to the county in which the defendant resides. The judge, upon such motion, shall order the removal of the action, and the procedures of G.S. 1‑87 shall be followed. (1871‑2, c. 193, s. 40; Code, s. 1289; Rev., s. 1559; 1915, c. 229, s. 1; C.S., s. 1657; 1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1223.)